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 Allergies and Sneezing

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MOLD ALLERGIES

THE TRUTH BEHIND MOLD ALLERGENS

Mold may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of allergens, but it shouldn’t be underestimated. Mold is a fungus that is found both indoors and out. And it isn’t always visible to the naked eye. If you come into contact with mold, it could trigger an allergic reaction. But don’t despair. You can take action.

THE TRUTH BEHIND MOLD ALLERGENS

While there certainly are pollen seasons, mold can be a problem any time of year. That’s because moisture is everywhere. Outdoor mold grows on rotting logs and fallen leaves, in compost piles, and on grasses and grains. Unlike pollens, molds don’t die with the first frost in late fall or early winter. They just stop growing and lay dormant during this time. In the spring, they can grow on plants killed by the cold.1

THE TRUTH BEHIND MOLD ALLERGENS

Indoors, mold thrives in hot and humid environments, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and basements.1 If you have a damp basement, leaky faucet, or bathroom that’s overflowed, just cleaning up the mess may not be enough. Make sure the moisture hasn’t seeped into the floors, because if so, you may need to pull up your floorboards to make sure you’re mold-free.

THE TRUTH BEHIND MOLD ALLERGENS

If you have a mold allergy, your immune system overreacts when you breathe in mold spores. That’s why inhaling mold spores, whether outdoors or indoors, can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Symptoms may include nasal congestion, sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes.1

THE TRUTH BEHIND MOLD ALLERGENS

It can be hereditary. People with parents or brothers or sisters who have allergies to such things as mold, pollen, and animal dander (tiny flakes from the skin, hair, or feathers of animals) can also become allergic to mold.1  But some people, because of what they do for work, are exposed to mold more often and might be at greater risk for developing an allergy to it. So, if you suffer from mold allergies, you may want to reconsider certain professions, like winemaking, furniture repair, carpentry, baking, and farming, since you may be exposed to mold much more frequently in those lines of work.1

THE TRUTH BEHIND MOLD ALLERGENS

Unfortunately, mold exists everywhere, but there are steps you can take to limit your contact with it both indoors and out:

sink

Scrub sinks and tubs monthly

fridge

Clean refrigerator door gaskets and drip pans

garbage

Clean garbage cans often

garbage

Fix water leaks immediately to keep mold from growing

garbage

Use a dehumidifier to keep your house dry1

garbage

Check mold counts on televised or online weather reports

Mold and its allergens are all around us, making them a challenge to avoid. But learning how to properly manage mold both indoors and outdoors can help lessen your symptoms—so you can feel better.

Sources:

1. AAFA. Mold Allergy. http://asthmaandallergies.org/asthma-allergies/mold-allergy/. Accessed August 9, 2019.